“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you
didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail
away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
Cancun and the Riviera Maya is Safe....
Well, here we are again folks, we'll attempt to answer the question regarding whether the Cancun and Riviera Maya areas of the Mexican
State of Quintana Roo are safe. Please read below for the detailed
answer based on a variety of sources including but not limited to the
US State Department, the US Mexican Embassy, the Canadian Foreign
Minister's Office, the Ministry of Tourism of Mexico and associated
sources including Karisma Resorts. In my opinion the region and many
other destinations in Mexico are safe provided normal precautions used
anywhere in the world are maintained.
Recent conflicts discussed in the U.S. media have been isolated
to the Mexican border towns of Tijuana, Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez,
all of which are located between 1,311 miles and 2,012 miles from
Cancun and the Riviera Maya, Mexico.
A follow up statement from the US State Department on March 6, 2009:
"US Travelers Told Mexican Violence 'Localized'" Washington D.C. — Mexico's
escalating drug violence need not stop the customary spring exodus of
American students south of the border, the US State Department said
Friday. Amid warnings of spiraling Mexican murder rates, the US
State Department said much of the country remains unscathed by running
battles between security forces and rival cartels."We notice that many
of the violent activities are localized in several different places.
They are not general across the north of Mexico, let alone through ...
the entire country," State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid said. As
students prepare their annual spring break from studies, concerns have
grown about the safety of popular Mexican getaways such as Cancun and
Acapulco which traditionally swarm with hedonistic students each March.
Duguid said violence was "not systematic throughout the country."
February, the State Department warned travelers of the risk posed by
increased violence, particularly along the US-Mexico border. Last year
an estimated 5,300 people died in Mexico as a result of drug-related
From the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City:
Leslie Basset, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico
City,declared "that the intention of the alert is to inform of the
violent acts that are taking place in specific states of Mexico as well
as in other nations. She clarified that in no way does this alert seek to negatively portray the tourist destinations.
"From the Canadian Foreign Ministry Office: "You can see that certainly the
conventional tourist spots, the major tourist locations, don't have any
more risk involved than at normal times," Peter Kent, Canada's
junior foreign minister, said in an interview. "But there are parts of
Mexico off the beaten path . . . where there have been incidents
lately, and they're itemized on the (departmental) website." Kent
called the advisory "really just a heads-up to remind folks there are
situations in Mexico that can be risky, if not dangerous, and that
people should think before they get into certain situations, certain
The Washington Post:The Washington Post reported that the alert for Mexico focuses on border towns and makes no mention of "Cancun and other Caribbean resort areas" and that crime bosses and street dealers have little interest in harming tourists.
The Latin Business Chronicle: Fox News Bill O'Reilly Is Wrong!
It is quite irresponsible for Bill O'Reilly to urge Americans to completely stay away from Mexico, as he did on yesterday's on Fox News. "I would not allow my children to go to Mexico on spring break, particularly when you have Florida and the Caribbean and other alternatives," O'Reilly said.
This after his guest, travel expert Pauline Frommer of the Frommer's Travel Guide
rightly pointed out that Mexico was a diverse country, with some parts
being more dangerous than others. "You have to realize that Mexico is a very big country and 50 percent of the violence is in the state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico," she said. "Cancun is very different from Juarez or Tijuana or the places where the murders have been."
As Frommer pointed out, warning against travel to any destination in Mexico because of the danger in certain areas, would be like warning against travel to New York because of danger in Detroit.
(Editorial Opinion from the Latin Business Chronicle)
The Edmonton Sun: Mexican Resorts Safe, areas near U.S. Borders dangerousBy ALYSSA NOEL, SUN MEDIA
Local travel agents say travelers bound for Mexican
resorts shouldn't worry about escalating drug wars in parts of the
country. On Friday, the Department of Foreign Affairs updated its
travel report to warn Canadians to "exercise a high degree of caution"
when traveling to northern parts of Mexico bordering the U.S.,
particularly cities like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, which have been
struck by drug cartel bloodshed in recent months.
"Canadians should be particularly vigilant in northern Mexico ... as
firefights between the military and drug cartels can occur without
warning at any time," the advisory reads.
But Edmonton agents say they rarely send locals anywhere outside of
the sandy beaches of the Mayan Riveria, Cancun or Ixtapa. "We are not
going to send a client to a place that is not safe because we are
liable to our guests' safety," said Leonor Bela Cruz, owner of Castle
Travel. "(Resorts) are completely safe. Unless they get out of the resort and do things that aren't within our control."
About 1.4 million Canadians travelled to Mexico last year. That's an increase of about 20% from 2007.
Bela Cruz said it's among her most commonly booked destinations. "Really there is no issue," she said of resort trips.
An agent from SellOffVacations echoed that. "Generally you're really safe when you stay in the resort," said Kara Kelemen.
"You have to be respectful and not go to the areas that are affected."
Kelemen said she very rarely books customers to stay in hotels rather
than all-inclusive resorts. "Not too many ask for it," she said.
AAA Travel Representative:
According to Donati, AAA Arizona encourages travelers to heed travel warnings, but
also wants to remind travelers that the violence which spurred the
State Department travel advisory is fairly isolated and has not been
reported in resort areas like Cabo San Lucas, Cancun and Puerto
Vallarta among others, nor on the major highway leading to Rocky
Point. Donati says these areas depend on tourism dollars to keep them
going, she adds, they are not a major hub for drug cartel related
activity, so she says AAA hasn't seen the violence in the resort towns
like there is in border towns.
According to Donati, AAA is
anticipating that destinations in Mexico are going to be popular for
spring and summer travelers, given their affordability and proximity to
the state. However, Donati says AAA would like to remind all travelers,
no matter the destination, to use common sense and exercise caution
while on vacation. Donati adds, crime can occur in a large metropolitan
area in the U.S. as well as another country.
FAQ 1. Is it safe to visit the Riviera Maya and Cancun properties?a. There have been no
reports of incidents in the Riviera Maya. The isolated, drug-related
incident that took place outside of Cancun earlier this month was more
than 100 miles in the opposite direction of Riviera Maya, and did not
involve everyday citizens or tourists.
b. We have been reassured by the tourism ministry that Riviera Maya remains a safe tourist destination.
c. Border towns including
Chihuahua and Tijuana, which are the focus of such violence, are more
than 1,500 miles and 2,000 miles from Riviera Maya, respectively.
2. Wasn’t there a travel advisory cautioning travelers about popular tourist areas like Los Cabos and Cancun?a. No, the Mexico Tourism
Board maintains that Mexico remains a safe tourist destination, further
reassuring that popular tourist destinations including Los Cabos,
Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, and the Riviera Maya all remain safe for
b. The U.S. Department of State also issued a travel alert warning U.S. citizens about dangers in border towns. 3. Are reports that the Cancun Airport has been taken over by the military true?a. Despite the proliferation of rumors, there are no reports indicating the takeover of the Cancun Airport by military officials.
Travel Agent Magazine Interview with Mandy Chomat, V.P. Karisma Hotels & Resorts:
Mandy Chomat, vice president of marketing and sales for Karisma
Hotels & Resorts, vented to Travel Agent Tuesday about the false
belief by consumers that the Riviera Maya and other non-U.S. bordering
Mexico territories are unsafe. A string of brutal murders of local
police officials earlier this month along with other ongoing violence
in Mexico prompted the State Department to issue an official travel
alert for all Americans planning to travel to Mexico.What gets lost in
the alert, however, is the fact that only U.S. bordering towns, mainly
Tijuana, have been the scenes of the crime. But the Riviera Maya, Los
Cabos and other territories far away from the crime scenes, are being
found guilty by association in clients' eyes and Chomat can’t take it
anymore. In a one-on-one phone interview, Chomat told us that operators
and agents, now, more than ever, need to stress to their clients that
not all of Mexico is unsafe.
Despite attacks near the U.S border, other
territories like the Riviera Maya have remained just as safe as they've
always been. Although repeat customers will continue to flock to
Karisma’s Riviera Maya properties, Chomat is concerned that the
exaggerated news may turn off honeymooners and other first-time
because what is going on in Mexico City and its border has nothing to
do with Cancun, the Riviera Maya or other parts of Mexico that are no
where near where the violence is occurring,” Chomat told us. “We’ve
even gone as far as to show operators and agents maps to point out how
far away our destination is from the border towns.”
isn’t alone in his frustration. He said he recently met with hoteliers
from Los Cabos and other regions in Mexico that were being unfairly
linked to the violence. “People see a warning to Mexico and think its
all of Mexico,” Chomat says. “I don't think they realize how big of a
country it really is...
The country of Mexico encompasses approximately 758,449 square miles
(1,964,375 square km), and incidents that affect one city or region can
have little to no impact on the safety of regions on the opposite side
of the country.
According to the Mexican Tourism Board, these
incidents have not affected the decision of tourists to travel to
Mexico, which continues to receive thousands of tourists monthly. More
than 22.6 million international tourists visited Mexico in 2008,
representing a 5.9 percent increase compared to 2007.
Further, in February 2009, hotel occupancy in Riviera Maya was at 85 percent.
Please note that:
Recent conflicts discussed in the U.S. media have been isolated to
the Mexican border towns of Tijuana, Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez, all
of which are located between 1,311 miles and 2,012 miles from Cancun
and the Riviera Maya, Mexico. The Mexico Tourism Board has been closely monitoring all recent
events and maintains that Mexico is a safe tourist destination, further
reassuring travelers that popular tourist destinations including Los
Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, and the Riviera Maya, all remain safe
Welcome to Cancun Casa, the Visitor's Guide to Cancun, Mexico and the Mexican Caribbean that delivers the information that you need to know when traveling or vacationing in Mexico.
We are making an effort to present you with our entire spectrum of information as soon as possible. At this point we are still under construction and will be updating features and information daily. The emphasis of our site is on Cancun Mexico and the Mexican Caribbean.
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